- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

MONROEVILLE, Pa. (AP) - The co-owners of a western Pennsylvania mortgage settlement company have surrendered and waived their rights to a preliminary hearing on charges they stole $230,000 from a couple who hired them.

The defense attorney for 56-year-old Diane Baleno, and 44-year-old Naomi Peters, both of Plum, declined comment on the charges filed Tuesday by the Allegheny County district attorney’s office.

The women owned a Monroeville company called Ultimate Settlement Services when a real estate agent friend of theirs contacted the women about refinancing two home mortgages totaling $326,000.

According to the district attorney, the suspects closed on the deal and paid off the first mortgage, but failed to pay off the second, using the money instead to try to prop up their failing business.

Both suspects face a formal arraignment March 6 on theft-related charges.

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